The International Publishers Association has called for a Presidential Pardon to free Khaled Lotfy - publisher of the Egyptian edition of Uri Bar-Joseph's - 'The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel'.
Chair of the IPA Freedom to Publish Committee stated, "It is incomprehensible that Khaled Lotfy can be imprisoned, not only for publishing a book, but for publishing a new version of a book that was already available. His only chance of freedom is a Presidential Pardon, and we implore President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to release Khaled so that he can be reunited with his family."
After an extended period of 11 postponements, the Egyptian Military Court of Cassation laid down the ruling - Lotfy would serve a 5-year prison sentence for publishing the book. According to the IPA - the April 2019 ruling accused Lotfy of 'spreading rumours and revealing military secrets as a result of publishing a cheaper, Arabic language, Egyptian edition', of the said book.
Although, 'The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel' was turned into a successful Netflix film titled - 'The Angel'; and Khaled Lotfy received the IPA' Prix Voltaire Award in May 2019, it appears nothing short of a Presidential Pardon will save this diligent publisher from prison.
Lofty has been detained in Egypt for the past two years unable to leave, meet or communicate with family. His publishing serves to spread knowledge and create awareness of different cultures.
The IPA - International Publisher's Association has just signed an exclusive contract with Emirates Airline to become its Exclusive Global Transport Partner for its international programme of events such as the 33rd International Publishers Congress, which will be underway in Lillehammer, May 2020.
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Now Europe is a pretty big place and as of 2018, some 50 countries are considered part of that region. However, it appears that only particular member states of the EU that continue to be the most productive countries on the book publishing map and they include: Russia, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and of Course the United Kingdom. However, for the purpose of this article we will delete the UK and treat them as a separate entity, given their decision to leave the European Union.
According to Worldometers and UNESCO (United Nations Educational Science and Cultural Organization), each year the world produces 2,412,371 and counting. This is a live figure, so even in the matter of minutes as I am write this article, it has increased to 2,412,379. I'll update it again, at the end of this article if you are curious.
The numbers of titles for the above relevant countries produced books at rate other countries can only dream of. Russia produced 123,336 in 2008; France produced a total of 67,278; while Spain managed 86,300 in 2008; Germany a staggering 93, 124 for 2009 and Italy closed 2005 with 59,743 books. These figures are just some of the major book producers in the world. Remember, these EU statistics are not 2018 figures, but are the most up to day figures presently available. Either way, the numbers of books being produced, do not appear to be waning.
It goes without saying that the biggest producers and consumers of books still goes to China - 328,387 books in total for the 2010 period. A similar figure was documented for the United States - new titles and editions totalled 328,259, in the same year.
(The live book total is now - 2,412,497)
Whether books are produced in hard copy or soft, physical or digital - the production of books is increasing at a phenomenal rate. Just adding the above sets of figures for five of the stated European countries - that's 429,781 books alone, which out produces both China and the United States by more than 100,000 books.
Europe looks set to boom and there are forty-five remaining countries in that region, I have not documented. Go figure!